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Climate cuttings 49

Too busy to post much, but there are a few interesting postings around the place that are worth a look.

Judith Curry's focus on hide the decline is attracting a lot of attention. Matt Ridley salutes JC, while Keith Kloor reckons the reputation of climate scientists is not as bad as she thinks.

Another month, another Climategate investigation. The Office of Commerce has found not wrongdoing among NOAA staff - although there is much of interest. The Office of Commerce report is here and deserves careful study.  McIntyre has started looking at the details. News coverage here and here.

Leading insurer RSA has said that it's not clear that weather is any more volatile. Good news for sceptics, reckons the Evening Standard.

And, saving the worst till last, Richard Black's standards have sunk lower than even I thought possible.

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BBC seem to have gone into lockdown..

Ie, I mentioned that Judith Curry's hide the decline blog will have an influence politically in the USA.

I also mentioned that In judith Curry's Hide the decline thread, Judith had confirmed Professor Jonathon Jones' criticism of the the decline -posted at Bishop Hill ( I emailed it to her) was by him. He had sent her an email.

Then I put Professor Jonathon Jone's comment as well

BBC have not let it through (which is unusual, as I was even on topic) and others had allready mentioned her article.

Feb 24, 2011 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

My take on the Commerce OIG's report on NOAA is that:

a) They made no effort to evaluate the agency's science - probably appropriately so.

b) They did not audit GHCN data beyond querying NOAA staff on the robustness of their own quality-control efforts, about which they claimed - predictably enough - that they were good.

c) They did find that the agency had not properly handled FOIA requests regarding IPCC participation of its staff, and clearly established that IPCC work done by NOAA staff and/or using NOAA facilities must be handled as NOAA records for FOIA purposes.

So while the scope of the inquiry might have been circumscribed, the results were not a whitewash.

Given the present administration's rather troublesome history with inspectors general one fears a bit for the future employment of the Commerce IG staff...

Feb 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Not a big fan of RSA. They own 'More Than' car insurance - and they just sent me an email with a link to the moronic WWF Earth Hour which they're sponsoring this year.

Not sure why they think it's a good idea to sponsor the WWF who are actively campaigning to tax all their customers off the road and back to the caves.

Feb 25, 2011 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterChilli

This scam isn't going anywhere just yet -- there are too many egos and billion-dollar pension funds riding on it.

Richard Black, of course, is defending both of those.

Feb 25, 2011 at 4:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

It is impossible to envisage anyone with more cognitive dissonance than Richard Black. There was a time when he would actually try and answer some of the comments critical of his articles. Not any more. He daren't even defend any of his rants nowadays. Perhaps the beeb has instructed him not to engage with the licence fee payers. He is a typical coward and bully, the type that the BBC loves to employ.

Feb 25, 2011 at 6:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

According to Andrew Revkin of the New York Times, Richard Black is the greatest of the greatest.

Check this out:

Scientists must engage with the public and be vigilant against projecting stereotypes of their profession—such as the elitist, arrogant scientist, Schmidt said

The Schmidt of course, is Gavin Schmidt. (here)

Feb 25, 2011 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

The comments at Richard Blacks BBC piece are telling.

Seems to me anyone that sinks to blaming a whole nation because they dare to start questioning a belief/religion puts Black into some very odd areas of bigotry indeed.

Feb 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

Oh dear, I am afraid that Richard Black is deceiving the public in more than one way. I went to the “Has science failed the media?” thing yesterday and that picture on his site is at least 10 years old. Bless. Otherwise he actually came across quite well. In the name of full disclosure I should say that the evening somewhat declined in my eyes when the first question from the audience was a geek math teacher who wanted to know why the BBC broadcasted their science programs so late that his 9 year old son had gone to bed. So as I had other plans I left half way through. Before that Simon Singh made the audience laugh by showing some email correspondence where he had complained to Channel 4 about a program on global warming and got an email calling him “a cock” by Martin Durkin in return. Hmmmm, didn’t he call James Delingpole a “penis” on twitter recently? :o)

Feb 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterH

Bish, I am not sure that your statement "The Office of Commerce has found not wrongdoing among NOAA staff " is quite correct.
The report 'found no evidence' on some points, but was quite critical of the handling of FOIs. On page 14:
'Contrary to NOAA's assertions, we found that it did not conduct a sufficient search for records prior to responding to these FOIA requests.'
There follows some legal rambling and then on page 16:
'However, it is clear that NOAA did not conduct a proper search in response to these requests, and it should not have excluded from the universe those IPCC documents that the CoChair may have possessed at the time of the requests.'

I see that Steve Mc has gone through this with his usual forensic detail.

The report mas also critical (page 8) of Tom Peterson and his 'marooned' image, that was produced by a NOAA scientist. Both have been 'counseled' by their respective supervisors, whatever that means!

Feb 25, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaulM

I do not know whether to love Martin Durkin or to hate him.
When Simon Singh accused him of "irresponsible film-making" he told him to "foxtrot oscar". It is an understandable reaction to us laymen, but one that one cannot afford when involved in what is , essentially, Public Relations for a particular scientific point of view.
However.....he apologised for his language later. The Great Global Warming Swindle, notwithstanding its various errors and omissions, will have a place in history.

Feb 25, 2011 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage


The Fat Lady hasn't stopped singing yet:


Feb 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

You're right, Your Grace - Richard Black has indeed sunk to new depths. I think an e-mail to Newswatch might be appropriate...

Feb 25, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I have fallen foul of the BBC moderators, presumably by pointing out that the use of the term "climate denial" causes offence because it seeks to equate it with the denial relating to events of WW2. It's OK for Richard Black to use pejorative expressions, but I am not allowed to point out why they are pejorative.

Feb 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterPotboiler

Richard Black's browbeating article makes me think, not for the first time, that somebody should update Beachcomber's excellent 'Dictionary for Today'.

M is for Marginalised - When America shows signs of not following the Beeb/Guardian political agenda, America is said to be 'marginalised'. (cf. 'isolated')

Feb 25, 2011 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB

Does anyone complain to the BBC or the Trust anymore about their lack of impartiality or is this considered to be a waste of time? It infuriates me that I am legally obliged to contribute through the licence fee to the propaganda peddled by Black and his colleagues.

Feb 25, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

The BBC, together with much of the British Establishment from Westminster to the Royal Society down through the academic institutions to elementary schools, like bristlecone pines, has followed a trajectory of decline, to the frustration and despair of the populace. I'm reading Sisson's new book, a birthday present. Superb. He eviscerates the BBC and it's sanctimonious arrogance, institutional bias and dereliction of duty regarding investigative journalism. One of the best passages in the book concerns an interview not by him, but by an 89 year old lady - Baroness P D James. No experience at all in interviewing, she was given a guest slot on the R4 Today programme on New Years Eve 2009. She interviewed the BBC Director General, Mark Thompson. Headlines next day were 'BBC DG reduced to a stuttering wreck'. I'll save Sisson's reaction for you to savour in the book.

Many other well known names are cut down to size in Sissons book. Harrabin warrants a mention for his Jo Abbess fold. But, as far as I have read, Richard Black is spared. Silence. He should be grateful for that. What could you say, really, fit for print?

Feb 25, 2011 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

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